I ask myself a lot of questions these days. Whenever I make purchases, I'm always looking to make the best choice for both the planet and my pocket book.
For instance, I recently bought some undies. Some had a plastic tag, but were made in the US. Others had no tags but were made in India. The other pair were made in US, had no plastic tag, but were pricey.
I find that everything is a balancing act. So, how do we make the BEST decision? How do we know what we're buying is going to have the BEST impact?
I started questioning this as I was riding home on the train from Rainbow Grocery. I finally got to meet the wonderful Shia from Wasteland Rebel. After many hours on online chatting, we met in the flesh, IRL.
It was so crazy, because it felt like we'd been friends for years. I mean we have been online, but in person we didn't miss a beat! It was also so nice to meet her husband. I just have to say they are adorable together! It's so stinkin' cute.
We met up at Gracias Madre in SF which I've been really wanting to try. I was very, very impressed with their offerings. They're a vegan restaurant committed to local and organic.
From their website, "Our Menu is seasonal and determined by what is currently available at our Organic farm in Pleasants Valley, California, the Be Love Farm. Our cheeses and milks are made using nuts. Our tortillas and tamales are handmade from non-GMO Organic heirloom corn, some of which is grown by us on the Be Love Farm."
To top it all off their menu is absolutely divine, I think I could have devoured all of it. They serve water without straws and have cloth napkins to boot!
It's definitely worth checking out if you're in the SF area.
After we ate a delicious lunch, we headed to Rainbow Grocery. I plan to update that post with better photos, but it is the land of all things in bulk. And, I mean ALL things.
They have adaptogens, herbs, coffee, every type of dried fruit imaginable, fresh pasta, dried pasta, honey, maple syrup, the list goes on and on.
But, the question popped up when both Shia and I were purchasing chocolate chips...
There were organic chocolate chips and there were fair-trade chocolate chips. We spent a while debating the two.
Which one is better? Ideally you'd want both right?
I mean, ideally you'd be able to buy everything:
- fair trade
- palm-oil free
- in budget
Do you know how many things actually check ALL of those boxes? Not very many
In fact, until this conversation moved from internal to external, I never even realized how much time I spent running down this mental checklist. I spend a lot brain power weighing the pros and cons hoping that in the moment, I pick the BEST option.
I'm going to guess many of you who pride yourself on being conscious consumers also run down some sort of mental checklist when looking to purchase items.
So, how do you know you made the best choice for the environment?
Honestly, you don't.
We don't live in a perfect world. We can only do our homework, and work with what we have. The choice I make, might not be the choice you make. That's totally OK! We have to remember that we're all on the same team.
We're all fighting for a better world, and it's OK if we come to different conclusions as we might have different priorities.
Being allergic to dairy, box number one for me, is no dairy. Clearly, I cannot compromise on that aspect. Plastic-free and package free is also on the top of my list. Which means organic and fair-trade might take a backseat.
You might however, have organic and fair-trade first and foremost. It's OK if we come to different conclusions. We both, made the best decisions we could.
It's why perfectionism has no place in this movement. More than anything we need education and awareness. Hopefully with more people making demands for products that check every box on the list, the more of those products we'll start seeing it in the market place.
That takes voices, and it takes people working together. So let's support each other and work towards making a better world.
.... but really which of the chocolate chips would you have bought?